Hebrides, winter…

hebrides, snow storm

A wee poem I have been working on following a trip to Islay. Uncharacteristically optimistic and upbeat by my usual standards I thought… call it an antidote to a really crap day.


The horizon rises rust and golden

There is mild steel in the sky

But the curl of the sea still smiles at me

This light falls kind upon the eye


A cold north wind unfurls these coat-flags

Slapping like a laugh at the side of your face

Peat smoke clouds my watered eye

Our ship lies soft in harbour embrace

They wave at you, sometimes with gritted teeth…

Bowmore, Islay, night

Michaela and I have just spent a night on Islay- I had to do some work there on Friday, so she tagged along too. It is a hard life.

Islay is a beautiful island, full of rolling farmland, beaches and a dozen or so distilleries that make the finest whisky. The beaches are stunning and the air full of birds.

On Islay, everyone waves at other drivers as they pass by. It is an instinctive thing- everyone gets a wave. It costs nothing, this kind of distanced friendliness. It is possible to maintain the illusion of conviviality despite all sorts of shared history that divides as much as it unites.

Today Michaela and I explored some lovely beaches and walked around the edge of the weather as it waved to us from dramatic skies. What a beautiful world we live in…